Lincoln Schindler’s road to recovery includes celebrating more birthdays

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With 10 kids, Lincoln Schindler says there always seems to be a birthday to celebrate. He’ll have plenty more to enjoy now that he is home after months of rehabilitation here at Madonna following a crash that left him with multiple broken bones and a brain injury.

On Lincoln Schindler’s last day at Madonna Rehabilitation Specialty Hospital, his team gave him a Spirit Award.

“I’ve got to say I obviously couldn’t have done this without you guys. And I’m so appreciative to have been blessed with being able to come here and have you take care of me, teach me what I needed to do and get me better,” he said.

About four months earlier, he wasn’t able to move on his own.

“When I got here, I could sit up and that’s about it. Not on my own, someone could sit me up.”

His road to recovery over the next four months would be marked by milestones both big and small.

From touching his finger to his thumb …

“I stopped and thought about it. If you can touch your thumb to your finger, that’s opposition. I can use this hand. At that point, I was so flooded with emotion; I cried my eyes out right there. It was just amazing.”

To standing …

“When he had the weight bearing to just the one side, his ‘now you can’ moment seemed to be the day that he was actually able to stand up in the parallel bars. He just felt amazing that he was able to do that,” said physical therapist Danielle D’Amore.

To climbing a flight of stairs with a cane …

“My focus is to get as healthy as I can to get home and lead a normal life. That’s my first focus so I can go home and be with my family,” Lincoln said.

Making progress his parents could see when they visited …

“We’re so happy that Lincoln has made the recovery he has and a big part of that is Madonna,” said Lincoln’s father.

All while giving back to Madonna and other patients …

“I look out for my neighbors. You can tell when people are having a hard time. For a sense of humanity, I feel the need to intervene and be supportive and just be there for them,” Lincoln explained.

“He always encouraged people to come out and eat at the dining room table. He would stop by the rooms and say, ‘Hey, join us for supper tonight.’ That was what I liked about him because I think it’s important if people can find a group of people to talk with and visit with, it makes their stay go a little easier,” recalled occupational therapist Colleen Sankey.

Making connections that will last …

“You’ve earned it. You’re going to be missed,” said Mary Reece, a professional counselor.

Going home to celebrate more birthdays.